NSW State Archives eNewsletter - ISSUE 115 April 2022

Deceased Estate Files Index - 300,000 new items!

We are excited to announce that thanks to our partnership with, over 300,000 entries covering the years 1939-1958 have been added to our very popular Deceased Estates Online Index. The new entries are from the original indexes to the 'A series' c.1939-1948 and 'B series' 1949-1958, meaning that all deceased estate files in the series NRS 13340 are listed.

The NSW Stamp Duties Office created a deceased estate file for every individual who died leaving property or other assets ('estates'), which were subject to death duties. The files contain the papers, correspondence and other documentation relating to the assessment of death duty by the NSW Stamp Duties Office.

To search the online index type the surname and first name of the person you are looking for into the search box at the top of the page. In some cases, abbreviations may be used for first names, middle names and occupations so varying or abbreviating your search terms can be helpful. Another useful tip is to try searching by Date of death or Place.

Start searching today!


History Reflected


History Reflected takes visitors on an unexpected journey through pivotal moments in our history.

The exhibition profiles 25 of the most iconic, treasured and curious items from the NSW State Archives Collection alongside bold contemporary reflections from artists, writers, curators and commentators. Challenging, emotionally arresting and surprising, History Reflected invites audiences to contemplate the past, present and future and will change the way we look at history.

Opening at Museum of Sydney 7 May 2022 to 17 July 2022.

History Reflected is a collaboration between Sydney Living Museums and NSW State Archives


Captain Brian Pockley

Captain Brian Pockley was a doctor in the Australian Army Medical Corps (AAMC) and a member of the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force. This Force was raised in Sydney, specifically to destroy the wireless stations in German New Guinea (now Papua New Guinea).

Pockley was killed in action in the Battle of Bita Paka on German New Guinea on 11 September 1914 becoming the first New South Welshman and the first Australian officer to die in World War I.

Read about his story and view records on our website.


Archives on Tour - West Wyalong School Records

Our Archives on Tour - School Records program has wrapped up, and we are excited to share our page for West Wyalong.

Check out the range of records sampled as part of the webinar, and watch the recorded webinar yourself!


Upcoming webinar

This webinar marks International Firefighters Day on 4 May, by taking a look at records relating to fires and firefighters serving in NSW. 

Fires and Firefighters webinar
Friday 6 May 2022

Register for more of our 2022 webinars!


Sister Edith Blake

Hear the story of Edith Blake told in this ABC The History Listen episode.

We explored Edith's story as part of our Public Service / War Service exhibition in 2016, as we hold some interesting records relating to her, including her probate packet.

Edith is also included in our NSW Government Employees Granted Military Leave online index (under 'E Blake').

Military ancestors webinar

You can find a wealth of information about 19th and early 20th century military personnel in the NSW State Archives Collection, from regimental orders to details of public servants who served in the military and information about the soldiers settlement blocks they held when they came home.

Watch our webinar which introduces you to some of these sources.


Promised in marriage, courting in Colonial NSW

Free men and women who courted were considered to be ‘promised in marriage’. Expectations were set as to how the forthcoming marriage would advantage both parties socially and economically. When a promise of marriage was broken—or breached—the offending party could be pursued through the civil courts for the value of ‘lost expectations’.

The first ‘breach of promise’ case in NSW to come before a jury was brought by Sarah Cox against Captain John Payne in May 1825.

Read about the case of Sarah Cox (later Wentworth) and John Payne on our website.

Image: Watercolour portrait of Sarah Wentworth by William Nicholas (1853), detail. Vaucluse House Collection, Sydney Living Museums

Canberra inauguration - Flickr

A significant moment in Australia's history was the naming of Canberra, Australia's capital city. The ceremony was held on 12 March 1913 at Kurrajong Hill, now Capital Hill and the site of Parliament House.

Check out this new Flickr album we put together, grouping images of the event.


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Museums of History NSW
Western Sydney Records Centre
161 O'Connell Street
Kingswood, NSW 2747

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